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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2000 at 7:30 PM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS-NOVI CIVIC CENTER-45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem Lorenzo, Council Members Bononi-Absent excused, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche-Absent excused, and Kramer-Absent excused
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - NONE
1. Interview Schedule
Thomas Lindberg, interviewing for Housing & Community Development, said he lived in Willowbrook Subdivision, married and has two children and has been associated with the City since January of 1986. He graduated from Michigan State University August 23, 1985 and on the same day took the test for the Novi Police Department. He is now a Detective for the Novi Police Department. He teaches D.A.R.E. and is involved in the senior center and does a great deal of public speaking with children. His interests and hobbies revolved around whatever his daughters are interested in on any given day.
Member Crawford knew Mr. Lindberg personally and stated he was always impressed by his commitment to the community. He thought he went above and beyond his role as a Police Officer and Member Crawford was pleased that he was interested in a board or commission appointment and wished more City employees would do so. Member Crawford stated he was pleased with his application and his fine work in the past and he had his support.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked what he knew about the H.C.D. Committee?
Mr. Lindberg said one of his pet peeves about this City was the lack of senior housing. He watched parts of the interview meetings in December and noticed that there was no one that had applied for H.C.D. with the exception of the lady involved with the Jaycees and she took a Parks and Recreation appointment. He knew that in the past 15 years Novi had received about $100,000 through the County and Novi is on board with about 50 other communities for a share of the pie. The target area for the funds to be spent seemed to be north of I-96. He felt it was tremendously important to keep up the ongoing funding because much of what goes to the senior center comes through this commission or advisory board. Two of the most energetic employees in the City are Jan McAlpine and Mrs. Crawford who take care of the senior center. He knew Jan McAlpine’s position was mostly funded through the monies that come from the county along with the senior transportation.
Member Csordas saw Mr. Lindberg at a Library Board meeting for Roma Ridge doing a seminar on Computer Aggressors over the Internet. He stated he was very impressed that Mr. Lindberg represented the City in a very profession manner and answered all of the questions. He believed he would represent the City extremely professionally.
Mayor Clark did not know Mr. Lindberg personally but did know him by reputation. He said everything he has heard has been extremely positive. The community was fortunate to have him as a member of the department and even more fortunate that he is willing to come forward and give of his free time to help the community and fellow citizens.
John Chambers, interviewing for the Library Board, said he had been in the City since 1971, had been on City Council, is a volunteer fireman and has twice run Needs Assessment Committee processes for the Council for police and fire. He is currently on the Novi Library Board and has been for 14 years. He is also on the Oakland County Library Board, which is an appointed position by the County Commissioners of Oakland County.
Mr. Chambers said they were in the middle of doing a bond issue that the President and board members would be bringing to City Council, probably February 28th, to update Council. He served as the President of the Novi Library Board, the Vice President and the Treasurer.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said she was looking forward to the update on the 28th.
Mr. Chambers said they are now finalizing their discussion as it relates to their recommendations and therefore the communication to the Council. It would be pre-emptive of him to say what that body was going to do until they did it.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if he had a lot of community outreach with subdivisions that would be impacted or general discussion with the public?
Mr. Chambers said there had been general discussion with various groups on an informal
basis but nothing on a formal basis. He said they did do a variety of surveys many years ago to contact people within the community to get a cross section of community involvement. It was critical so that they knew what the community was trying to communicate to them on an unbiased basis. Wayne State University did the communication for them and it is part of the precepts they are working under on the library project.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if the homeowners associations had been contacted regarding a potential site?
Mr. Chambers said there has been some communication but nothing can be finalized until it is brought before Council and before that is done he said they all needed to be in relative agreement. He has spoken to as many people as he could and found more positive than negative thoughts about the program and the future as that vision for the library.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if anymore thought had been given regarding the Ten Mile access?
Mr. Chambers said they were in the process of discussing that.
Member Crawford asked what he did as an Oakland County Library Board appointee?
Mr. Chambers said it is very similar to what he does in Novi except that facility is pretty much cast as to its location, usage, etc.
Member Crawford asked if there was an Oakland County Library?
Mr. Chambers said yes; it is in Pontiac in the 1200 Telegraph complex. There is a library for the blind, law library and two or three other libraries.
Member Crawford asked if they recommend budgets?
Mr. Chambers said they do and they also have good communication back and forth with Lansing and a lot of the information is passed on to the Novi Library Director.
Member Crawford was concerned about the type of access that was allowed by the computers in the library. He asked if that problem was under control and what was their philosophy on it?
Mr. Chambers said that issue came up with the Library Board as a whole when he was President and they sat down with an Ad Hoc Committee of Library Board members, residents and members of the staff and worked out a multi pronged resolution to that problem. One of those resolutions was that they have a set of Internet stations for the adults and one for the children.
Member Crawford asked if there was total free adult access to everything on the Internet?
Mr. Chambers said they do. Member Crawford asked if that had been a problem and if it was isolated from the youth and everyone else. Mr. Chambers said there are privacy screens. Member Crawford asked if there was a charge for that access and Mr. Chambers said there was no charge unless the printer was used.
Member Crawford said it looked like the situation that arose several months ago was under control. He personally felt it was not necessary to be everything to everybody and every magazine or book isn’t available, nor should be, and that should apply to the Internet also. If it is not a problem that is good but if a problem arises he thought a very harsh look should be taken at providing every thing to everyone.
Mr. Chambers said unfortunately in the Internet world he could not guarantee that he could stop someone from seeing something they wanted to see or look up a site that they should not look up. The accessibility of the Internet concerned him as a parent also.
Member Csordas said Mr. Chambers is very involved with the community and during his contact with Mr. Chambers through the Library Board, etc. he believed he had one agenda and that was for the betterment of the City of Novi and the Library Board. He said he did not have any questions and was glad to see Mr. Chambers was reapplying and looked forward to his continuing a fine job.
Mr. Chambers said the Novi Public Library had received two national awards. One by an individual at the library and another as it related to how they handled their Internet relationships. He said this showed they were visionaries in what they do in trying to solve issues and it was not just them but members of the community. Novi is a very well rounded, educated community that are extremely high users of the library book material and also of the Internet workstations.
Mayor Clark asked, in connection with the presentation he was going to make on the 28th ,has the Library Board or any member of the Library Board talked to any of the homeowners along Taft Road?
Mr. Chambers could not answer that question because he had been out of town during the last Library Board meeting and just returned for this meeting.
Thomas Swope, interviewing for the Historical Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals, said he had lived in Novi from 1970-1978, moved to California for his health, and has just returned to Novi last September. While in California he was able to complete his education and was involved in the Greater Pomona Volunteer Center and handled approximately 7,000 court cases a year and worked closely with the probation department. He was president of the credit union for three years and involved with them for 12 years. He also did one semester in a legal program.
Member Csordas asked if he knew what the Historical Commission did and why he was interested in that commission?
Mr. Swope said it would entail investigative work and when taking law courses he had his share of investigative work and thought he could handle it.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if he had a preference between the Historical Commission and the Z.B.A?
Mr. Swope said he would like the Zoning Board of Appeals as a first choice.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said there were no openings on the Z.B.A. but there was on the Historical Commission. She asked if he was aware of any of the projects the Commission was involved in at this time?
Mr. Swope had an idea by what he had read in the paper.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if he was aware of the Fuerst Farm property. He said he was. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo told Mr. Swope the City owned the property now and they were in the process of looking at how to best restore and use the property. She asked if he had any experience in this area and if it was of particular interest to him?
Mr. Swope said he had some in California and history was his minor and so he did understand the history aspects of it.
Mark Sturing, interviewing for the Novi Building Authority, said he has lived in Novi for 12 years, married with two children. He spent seven years with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, two years in private practice and for the last eleven years he has been general counsel to the Beztak Company. He has been on the Building Authority since 1995.
Member Crawford said he could not imagine anyone more qualified to be on this Board than Mr. Sturing. He has done a great job already. He asked Mr. Sturing if he was pleased or displeased with the Ice Arena?
Mr. Sturing was pleased and from a Building Authority standpoint the Ice Arena was built on time and within budget. He said the operating results for the first year were disappointing but he believed that what had happened in regard to the original first year deficit there has been a certain degree of mismatching accounting periods. That first year probably had one year of expenses in seven or eight months of revenue. He was dissatisfied with the original Manager of the arena and felt that with the new Manager that has been turned around. He felt it would now operate much closer to breaking even and probably is in a positive position.
He said the Building Authority was really the entity that supervised the construction of the arena and they were not involved with the management. Overall he thought it was a very good thing.
Member Crawford agreed with Mr. Sturing.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if he had been involved with negotiating or approving the construction contract?
Mr. Sturing said he and the committee were involved in the negotiating of the contract. They felt Mr. Sylers building experience was very limited and one of the first things they did was insist there be a real experienced contractor, which was Rudolph Libby who stood behind his work, built the arena within its budget and maximum price.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if the current project, Senior Citizen Housing, was in the budget?
Mr. Sturing said to date they are within budget and anticipated they would stay within budget.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if he anticipated any increase or impact on the rental structure?
Mr. Sturing said it should not change the rental structure at all.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if the committee was involved with how the facility would be managed?
Mr. Sturing said they have decided they would focus their attention on how people would be able to rent the apartments or the ranch units and it is being worked on at a City staff level. He thought those decisions would be decided by the Council. It was his understanding that the Building Authority would make recommendations to Council as to what those policies should be in regard to the application process. He thought it was safe to say they believed that a resident of the City of Novi should be given a preference but they had not wrestled with the more difficult issue of should there be income restrictions. Should people making very different income levels be equally qualified to move in?
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if he had a personal opinion on that?
Mr. Sturling believed there should be preferences given based on income. He believed that lower or middle income should be given preference over higher income.
Member Csordas thanked him for a good job and his dedication to the City.
Charles Bunge, interviewing for Construction Board of Appeals, said he has lived in Novi for six years with his wife and daughter. He has worked in construction in Novi for ten years in three different subdivisions; prior to that he had been in residential and commercial construction for another 15 years and he is looking for an opportunity to give something back to the City.
Member Crawford said it looked like Mr. Bunge had the type of background needed on the Construction Board of Appeals and thought someone with his experience was needed on the Construction Board of Appeals.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo concurred with Member Crawford. She said Mr. Bunge worked for Selective and they have done a number of subdivisions and other construction in Novi and could do more in the future. She asked if he saw any conflict of interest?
Mr. Bunge said he did not because he was leaving Selective at the end of the month.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if he would be concerned with conflict of interest given the amount of building going on in Novi?
Mr. Bunge said no because the companies he is talking with now are not doing any business in Novi. Although they might in the future he did not see a conflict of interest.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if he would abstain?
Mr. Bunge said he would.
Mayor Clark asked which subdivisions he worked in?
Mr. Bunge said Greenwood Oaks Phases I and II, Barclay and Greenwood Oaks Phase III.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – NONE
Member Crawford said normally appointments were made in the next meeting or so but he was pleased with the applicants and felt they were all very well qualified. Some of these positions have vacancies right now. He said the E.D.C. has two vacancies. One is vacant now and one has a term that is going to expire and that person is seeking reappointment. The Library Board is Mr. Chambers and that is the Mayors appointment and if Mayor Clark chose to make those appointments Member Crawford would concur. The Beautification Commission has six vacancies and there are no applicants. Cable Access Committee would have a vacancy and Ms. Jenkins has applied. There are three vacancies on Community Clubs. Construction Board of Appeals has Mr. Bunge as an applicant. H.C.D. has two vacancies and two terms expiring. Mr. Ross wants one of them and he has served for years and Member Crawford did not see a need to interview him after the fine job he has been doing for years and would like to see him re-appointed. Mr. Lindberg asked for a position and Member Crawford said he would support him. There is one vacancy on the Historical Commission and that member is not seeking reappointment and he felt Mr. Swope would do a fine job on that. The
Building Authority has applicant Mark Sturling and Member Crawford felt he needed to be re-appointed. Member Crawford stated he would make a motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo called for point of order. She felt this was inappropriate. This meeting was scheduled and advertised as an interview schedule and Council does not typically appoint at an interview session. She thought it did not afford the public or the rest of the Council input in these matters.
Member Crawford said this has been done in the past and appointments have been made. Generally it was not done and there were 6, 7 or 10 interviewees for the Planning Commission, for example, so interviews were done and at preceding meetings appointments were made. In this case he did not see any reason not to re-appoint some of these people. There are existing vacancies and more in March. It is not out of order and he thought some of these people needed to be appointed right now because there was no reason to wait a couple of weeks.
Member Crawford began a motion and Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo called a point of order and felt that the motion was out of order and that there was no action to be taken this evening. Member Crawford felt it was not out of order and action could be taken.
Mayor Clark said if a motion is made it is clear there would be one opposing vote and only three of the other Council Members might be voting in support of it. He thought appointments should be deferred until the next meeting. He said if there is any Member of Council absent tonight that would like input they could be heard at that meeting.
Member Crawford asked if his motion was out of order?
Mayor Clark said at this time, he would rule it out of order.
Member Crawford disagreed. He said again certain people seem to find ways for this City not to do business. There is absolutely no reason these people could not be appointed tonight. This is a regularly scheduled meeting, there is a quorum in attendance, we have appointed people at interview sessions before and there is not going to be anything different this meeting and the next. There is no reason business cannot be done tonight. He said he respectfully disagreed with Mayor Clark’s ruling that his motion was out of order. He stated he was sick and tired of Council not doing business.
4. Letter from the Michigan Coalition to Protect Public Rights-of-Way, Re: Annual
Report for 1998-99.
Member Crawford said this is a very important because of the city’s right of ways and this organization is made up of a consortium of several communities that are listed in the information provided. They asked for 25 cents per person and our allocation would be about $8,000. He was not prepared to recommend that this be done right now but would like Council
to consider some type of contribution which supports a lobbyist in Lansing to lobby on the city’s behalf for the protection of our right a ways. He asked that there be consensus to have this
discussion at budget time perhaps not based on the formula of 25 cents per person but some contribution. He pointed out that one of the members is S.W.O.C.C., which is our Cable Commission, and out of S.W.O.C.C. we have contributed on behalf of Farmington, Farmington Hills and Novi. Mayor Clark agreed.
Member Csordas stated Novi is not currently a member of that consortium. Member Crawford said no but there are about 30 communities through out the whole state who do. He said the suggested contribution was $8,249.50.
CM-00-02-025 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the meeting at 8:35 PM
Vote on CM-00-02-025 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, Lorenzo
Absent: Bononi, DeRoche, Kramer
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Nancy Reutter, Deputy City Clerk
Charlene Mc Lean
Date Approved: February 28, 2000